8 Interesting Facts About Tony Iommi

Tony Iommi is a British guitarist, songwriter, and composer born on 19 February 1948 in Birmingham, England. He grew up in a Catholic family as the only child of British-Italian parents Anthony Frank Iommi and Sylvia Maria Iommi. He also holds dual British-Italian citizenship.

Iommi rose to fame as a founding member and leader of the heavy metal band Black Sabbath. He formed the band in 1968 with fellow musicians Bill Ward (drummer), Geezer Butler (bassist), and Ozzy Osbourne (vocalist). The four of them made history and are considered pioneers of heavy metal music.

Tony has been rocking for over five decades and we hope he doesn’t stop anytime soon!

Now let’s dive into some interesting facts about Tony Iommi and get to know the heavy metal legend a bit better.

8 Interesting facts about Tony Iommi

1. He’s missing two fingertips

One of the most known Tony Iommi facts is that he’s missing the tips of his right hand’s middle and ring fingers.

He lost his fingertips as a teenager in an industrial accident while working in a sheet metal factory. And to add salt to the wound, the injury happened literally on his last day of work.

Losing the fingertips would obviously be a handicap and inconvenience for everyone. But for a musician, especially a guitarist, such an injury can put your whole career in jeopardy. In Tony‘s case, his career nearly ended before it had the chance to begin.

Luckily, his friends showed him a recording of jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt who played with only two fingers on the fretboard. This fact inspired Iommi to continue playing the guitar.

2. His mustache is covering a scar

Tony Iommi‘s iconic mustache isn’t just for fashion and good looks, it’s covering a scar on his upper lip.

He got the scar as a kid, aged 8 or 9, when a bully chased Tony who then tripped while running, hit the ground face-first, and cut his upper lip. The incident left a permanent mark on his face which resulted in him getting the nickname “Scarface”.

However, Iommi hated the new nickname and was self-conscious about it. That’s why he grew a mustache the moment he could do it to cover the scar.

3. He set Bill Ward on fire and gave him third-degree burns

One of the craziest facts about Tony Iommi is that he set Bill Ward on fire as a prank…multiple times.

Apparently, Black Sabbath members loved to pull pranks on each other, and one of them involved setting Bill Ward on fire, with his consent.

Tony normally would pour cleaning alcohol on Bill‘s hand and he’d light it. The alcohol would then burn for а few seconds and stop without any harm done. However, one time during the recording of the album ‘Heaven and Hell’Iommi poured too much alcohol on Ward, and after lighting him up, they couldn’t extinguish the fire, resulting in third-degree burns.

4. He’s a Petrolhead and a big fan of Lamborghini

Besides his love for music and guitars, Tony Iommi also has a thing for sports cars, especially Lamborghini.

He began collecting cars in the 1970s when Black Sabbath‘s popularity skyrocketed. He owned a Maserati, Rolls-Royce, MG, Lamborghini, etc. But as the title says, his love for Lamborghini is unrivaled. Tony owns two Lamborghini Espadas, a Miura SV, and in 2021 he got himself a Lamborghini Urus.

However, a not-so-fun fact about Tony Iommi is that his passion for cars and speed nearly cost him his life. The accident happened shortly after he obtained a driving license when two tires on his MG blew out, resulting in the car flipping over and hitting a tree. Fortunately, he survived with minor injuries although the car was totaled.

5. The only Black Sabbath member to appear on every album

If someone said that Tony Iommi and Black Sabbath are synonyms, they would hardly be wrong. Because since Black Sabbath‘s inception in 1968, there has been only one constant in the band – Tony Iommi.

He is the only member of the group that has played on all nineteen studio albums.

6. Was a member of Jethro Tull

Although he is the only member to appear on every Black Sabbath album, there was a brief moment in history when Tony Iommi wasn’t part of the band.

Namely, in the early days of Black Sabbath when it was still called EarthIommi left the band and joined Jethro Tull for a short spell from September to November 1968. He never recorded any material with Jethro Tull, but he did perform at two events with them.

7. Led Zeppelin‘s John Bonham-Bonzo was his Best Man

When Tony Iommi got married for the first time in 1973 to Susan Snowdon, his best man for the ceremony was none other than Led Zeppelin‘s drummer John Bonham-Bonzo.

The marriage lasted for three years until 1976. Since then Iommi has been married three more times, and currently lives with his fourth wife Maria Sjoholm.

In the 1980s, Tony was also briefly engaged to fellow rockstar Lita Ford (of The Runaways) but that didn’t end up well.

8. Tony Iommi wrote a song for the Eurovision Song Contest

Last but not least Tony Iommi fact is that on the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Malmo, Sweden, one of the songs was co-written by him. The song in question is ‘Lonely Planet’, Armenia’s entry for that year.

He wrote the song together with lyricist Vardan Zadoyan and submitted it at the Armenian national song contest. Both the jury and the public voted ‘Lonely Planet’ as the best song to represent Armenia on Eurovision that year.

The song was performed by a fellow rock musician Gor Sujyan who is the frontman of the rock band Dorians.

Final Thoughts

We wish good health and many more decades of rocking to Mr. Iommi. And hopefully, you found these facts about Tony Iommi interesting and learned something new about the rock legend.

Read next: 10 Interesting Black Sabbath Facts

Featured image by: Guy Evans